FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Two tornadoes did indeed touchdown in Fort Lauderdale Tuesday afternoon during several bands of nasty weather that moved through ahead of a cold front.
The National Weather Service confirmed two EF-0 tornadoes touched down, one in Downtown Fort Lauderdale and the other near Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, sending cargo containers tumbling and startling passengers stuck in planes on the tarmac until the nasty weather cleared. Incoming and outgoing flights were delayed, there were power outages across the county and a woman’s home at 422 NW 7th Terrace was badly damaged as a huge pine tree toppled over and through the roof of her home.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. It was a surprise. It was more than a surprise, it was shock,” explained Iris Walker who has lived in her home for 21 years. “I was coming out of the bathroom and I heard a thump. I looked out the window,” she explained. Suddenly, she described, the ceiling caved in.
“As soon as I went to the window and looked and see what it was, the ceiling fell,” she recalled still in shock. “I had to back up, I had nowhere to go. I just stood there.”
NEW VIDEO: Scary skies swirled over Ft. Lauderdale, FL Tuesday afternoon amid multiple tornado warnings in the area. Besides the tornado threat, the storms packed hail and dangerous lightning. #flwx pic.twitter.com/pqo6tVxBKw
— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) April 10, 2018
Wind gusts of 63 mph were reported in Dania Beach and quarter-sized hail was reported in Plantation. All of this with very heavy rain fall in areas like Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Pompano Beach, and Davie.
One person posted some pretty dramatic video of one of the tornadoes on YouTube.
As for Walker, she’s grateful to be alive.
“If it wasn’t for the insurance, I don’t know what I could do, but everybody out here has been so helpful, so wonderful, everybody out here and I’m just grateful to be alive that’s the whole issue with me because I was this close to death.”
Walker lives by herself but Wednesday morning, her son, grandson, a pastor and a city commissioner came by to remove the tree from the roof.
“It’s all about community. She’s a gem and this is what we do in the city of Fort Lauderdale. We take care of our own,” said city commissioner Robert McKinzie.
Walker’s son and grandson will now try to patch the roof.
“She has broken tresses, fascia broken, metal broken, we’ll just fix it so she can go back in the house,” said her grandson, Isaiah Blake.
“Well get it done, we’ll take care of momma,” said her son.
According to the National Weather Service, the first tornado was observed at 3:34pm and lasted 24 minutes. It had a maximum width of 60 yards and an estimated wind peak of 65 mph. It traveled along a nearly 3 ½ mile track.
The second tornado was a little stronger with an estimated wind peak of 85 mph, according to the weather service. It touched down on the northwestern side of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport at 4:25 p.m. and lasted 11 minutes. It traveled for about 3 miles and had a maximum width of about 40 yards.